Timeshift Thursday – the Silent Realm

TimothyMarch 14th, 2013 by Timothy

Hi, and welcome to another episode of Timeshift Thursday where I take you along to explore some of my favourite areas in Nintendo’s ground-breaking Zelda series! Today, I’d like to show you one of my most loved parts of the Skyward Sword adventure; an area which by namesake’s really proved to be an extensive “trial”. The entrance to this area known as a “trial gate” leads to the testing of Link’s courage, strength, and wisdom while also reflecting that trial upon the gamer who must not make any dangerous error while trying to clear through the hallowed grounds.

So today I’d like to take a detailed glance at the Silent Realm. This is one of Skyward Sword’s darkest moments; a very sacred place where Link gains a unique item for his journey if he completes the strenuous test. You can follow my writing and learn more about the Silent Realm by clicking the jump below!

As I stated above, the Silent Realm is one of the darkest parts to traverse in Skyward Sword because of its gloomy visuals, setting, and ever-watching guards testing your ability to sneak past and accomplish your important objective. Your mission is to collect the 15 Sacred Tears placed in strategic positions around the respective region and head back to the entrance before the Guardians catch you. This may seem simple yet Nintendo intensified the difficulty by placing other guards called Watchers who hold non-attacking, alerting lights which, if shone upon Link, summon the Guardians. Link can pick up Light Fruit placed along the ground which act as beacons to direct the player to a certain Sacred Tear yet Link only has 90 seconds in between collecting each Sacred Tear before the Guardians appear to chase Link to his doom. Because Link only has a limited amount of running stamina, the actual chance of escaping becomes hopeless unless our hero grasps a Sacred Tear and puts those Guardians back to their 90 second slumber. It really is a frightening experience and possibly the only time I truly screamed while playing a Zelda game!

The Silent Realm can certainly be seen as reminiscent of the Twilight Realm from Twilight Princess as both areas happen to be a draw away from the games’ natural worlds. Because Skyward Sword takes place before Ocarina of Time many fans are led to wonder whether the Silent Realm ends up becoming the Sacred Realm as both play a part in being mirror realms of the surface world, hiding the Triforce from the public eye. The Silent Realm was also originally planned to be named the Siren Realm which is why the Hylian letters around the protective circle spell out SIREN. Personally, I’m glad Nintendo hunted for a better name! Another interesting fact is regarding the depiction of the Sacred Realm in A Link to the Past. The representation shows numerous floating islands in the sky with the Triforce appearing above a large island in the center. This depiction could be related to Skyloft and the Sky in which it is located. Click here to see the depiction from A Link to the Past.

The Silent Realm’s music is haunting, although, it appears to be a softer version of the corresponding area you are currently exploring. The scariest composition is in fact when the Guardians awaken and start chasing Link! It’s a message of doom pushing you not to stop running even though it’s giving you a sense of panic and uncoordinated control. Because the music is orchestrated, it sounds more realistic and powerful. Take a listen below!

I personally enjoy the Silent Realm in Skyward Sword because of its dark theme and strong difficulty, especially when trying to complete the Skyloft area of it. It’s one of the only areas in the Zelda series which truly frightens me while playing and gives me a sense of insecurity and unsureness about a guaranteed accomplishment of that particular part in the game. Those Guardians and Watchers were beautifully detailed by Nintendo and are some of the creepiest figures Link will ever face. The music is also to my liking as it describes the area Link is exploring perfectly; via a somber and dark melody.

What are your thoughts on the Silent Realm? Is it one of your memorable moments in Skyward Sword? Has the Silent Realm been a frightening and discomforting experience for you? Please be sure to leave a comment and share your opinions and thoughts below!

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  • Anonymous

    The Silent Realm was a fun difficulty after intriguing but easy dungeons. However, I only really had trouble with the Skyloft Silent Realm. I can’t wait for a quest or dungeon that’s actually difficult.
    Also, I would have liked the Silent Realm better if there were things other than barriers that made them different from their Real World counterparts. Maybe a wall or a floor has a hole in it you can travel through. Or there’s a Silent Ladder that doesn’t appear in the real world.

    • Fjalar

      I agree, they could have been a bit more twisted. I also found it very annoying that you had to go through all the animations when raising the alarm, but that is a general problem of Skyward Sword. There could also have be some sort of ending fight to them so that they had a bit more difficulty. In general I have never found the sneaking around parts of Zelda games to be that intriguing, the one I would actually consider to be charming is the one in Wind Waker.

      I don’t get that people really found them scary, I didn’t even consider that to be the intent, I just thought they were meant to feel tranquil and otherworldly. A blue landscape does not terror make in my opinion.

  • Nikki

    Creepy areas for sure! Those are areas that I need to have time and no one else at home, so I can concentrate on what I’m doing, so I can get all the tears and not have to “quit” and return to the area at a later time. The hardest one for me with the tears was the one that was hiding in the tree, and the ones that were on the slide with Eldin Volcano, trying not to touch the waking waters! I’m sure glad that light fruit was there to help see where they were!

  • zombie_eat_flesh

    I will always hate the Silent Realm.

    • JuicieJ

      I will always LOVE the Silent Realm. ;)

      • Jam9t3

        Maybe the only thing I agree with you on.

      • zombie_eat_flesh

        It’s your opinion. I respect it.

    • http://www.zeldadungeon.net/ DA LAWLZ >:3

      trust me
      i will too

    • toonlinkuser

      I will always TOLERATE the Silent Realm.

      • SuperNintendoNigga

        I will always be SCARED SHITLESS of the Silent Realm.

    • linkypete

      I am replaying SS now, but I have taken a very long break because of one reason: I am at the point where you enter the first silent realm.

      • Nikki

        I’m at that same point! Of course, it’s on normal mode with the Wii U. Hero mode(regular Wii) I’m only at Eldin Volcano.

    • itsameluigi1290

      I will always GOTTA GO FAST the Silent Realm.

      Oops engrish.

  • Rachel

    I had built up a lot of fear before going in, so it wasn’t as bad as I expected, but waking those guys up is SCARY. And the waking water can be plain awful.

    • hillel Dimbert

      that wate caught me i don’t know how many times

  • bluetoad

    Silent realm ranking from hardest to easiest:

    Eldin, Lanayru, Skyloft, Faron

    • Zeldathon9912

      For me it’s more like:

      Eldin, Lanayru, Faron, Skyloft.
      It’s that way for me since I always seem to forget where one or two of the tears are in Faron and then end up spending 10-15 min. finding it. :)

    • Death47

      Weird, mine is the same XD

    • Mr. Nidoking

      I’d say Lanyru, Skyloft, Eldin, Faron.

    • Eldin Problems

      Eldin I agree was the hardest.. well at the least the most tense for me. I haven’t played SS in over a year, but I remember there where one or two tears on that huge slope on Eldin Volcano that Link slides down. I had awakened all the guardians and had collected all the tears except one on that slope, and I kept missing it when I slid down. Basically, it extremely tense because I missed the tear about 5 times and each time I had to re climb up the the entire mountain.. and because the Guardians where all awaken .. the entire time I was running away from them at the same time .. man it was tense, even more so with that music.

  • JuicieJ

    That Guardians Awaken theme is one of the creepiest things ever. @_@

  • Zeldathon9912

    I absolutely loved the Silent Realm! I always waited for the 90 sec. to run out, then start looking for the next tear. My absolute favorite part of it was to collect the one tear furthest from the safe zone last, wait for the 90 sec. to run out, and then all-out-sprint the way back! I think that the Lanaryu Desert Silent Realm is the easiest to do that in, since I’ve lasted a full 5-minutes w/out being caught there! I really hope they include something like this in the next game! :)

  • I WANT IT

    awawwawawawawawaggggggawd
    please dont remind me.
    *dies*

  • Cmaster

    Silent realm. Enemies silent, yes – Scary music, not so much. :O

  • http://www.facebook.com/rebekah.sapelli Rebekah Sapelli

    I HATE the Silent realm!!! The only other time I freaked out during a Zelda game was the Shadow Temple Boss, Bongo Bongo.

  • i_love_zelda

    im done with every silent realm mofos.

  • i_love_zelda

    but they are really hard and i HATE when the guardians wake up!!!!

  • BlackHawkSniper

    If we could merge the theme and scaryness level of the Silent Realm with the abstract amount of fear from the Well from OoT, what do we have?

    • http://marjimusic.com/nwtb Clockwerk Orange

      many pairs of pants with shit in them. idk lol

  • Rinku

    Or, y’know, Siren is the Japanese name…

  • Triforce

    I enjoyed the Silent Realms…it was probally my favorite part of Skyward Sword. It was hard in my first playthrough.

  • ken

    at least better than twilight realm …..

    • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

      Strongly agree with this….. the Silent Realm in the end is a better realization of the previous idea.

      The Twilight Realm was….. well poorly thought out and as far as Zelda “mechanics” go a cheap mans “Dark World”. The fact that the Twilight even disappears half way through the game never to be seen again (until the end of the game for a short stint). It just felt like the abandoned the concept cause they didn’t know where else to take it.

      Similar to even the “wolf” mechanic. Which was tied into it, and similarly…. becomes an after thought half way through the game. *sigh*

  • punkinoodle

    I have a love/hate relationship with the Silent Realms. I am pleased with their design in all aspects and, with practice, have gotten good enough at them to enjoy playing through them. But I hate them because they’re so intensley terrifying! I get physical reactions to playing them. In Din’s Silent Realm, I shook uncontrollably through the entire thing!

  • wafflegoat

    The best part of SS! But the music…O_O

  • Zeldamaster3000

    First time I ever stepped out of the circle: Ahhhhhh!!!!
    First time I stepped under a ghost light: Ahhhhhhh!!!!
    I’m such a quitter…. I should finish the Silent Realm today just to be done. BUT IT SCARES ME SO MUCH!!!!

  • Narisha

    “It really is a frightening experience and possibly the only time I truly screamed while playing a Zelda game!” – exactly my thoughts. And it’s only because you have nothing to defend yourself with since all of Link’s weapons are gone in the silent realm. Well, there is the option of running for your life but sooner or later these guardians will catch you anyway. So running away is not a way of defense, but rather a waste of time XD

  • itsameluigi1290

    I made it through all of them without dying once. I’d also scare my sisters by purposely going up close to the thing that chased me XD

  • SMOSHOHLIC!

    I hate the silent realm! The guardians kept waking up and chasing me.

  • RedLink77

    I always thought the Silent Realms were kind of pretty. Terrifying, but pretty.

  • Brian McComb

    i hate and sometimes like the silent realms. The first time I played a silent realm i was breathing hard and shaking, but when I played the faron silent realm i was 1 tear away the a watcher comes out of no where and makes the guardians woke up and i had to start all over but it was my first time playing a silent realm.Then it got easy and I got over the shaking and breathing.

  • linkisamazing

    I beat the game…but I hated the silent realms. Skyloft was the easyest.

  • Fire and Ice Arrows

    I love the silent realms, but they are so creepy and stressful…

  • Nikokiri

    The Silent Realms are sooo scary and pretty hard (at least Eldin and Skyloft). Though, I’ve never failed any trials.

  • ReeAy

    I understand the first silent realm trial since it really did test your courage. The rest however, i feel could have been done better. Surely there are more creative ways of testing wisdom and power. I was really looking forward to the second trial and was really disappointed when i realised it was just the same thing over and over.

  • ZELDAFANPERSONINATOR

    The worst part was when u failed a bunch and fi tells u that the chances that u r the chosen one are at like 5%….

    • http://lulles.deviantart.com/ lulles

      She actually says that? I didn’t fail that many times I guess, but oh my god xD

  • npatoray24

    see, i thought they could have been a little more difficult on the aspect of the guardians chasing you…. it was pretty easy to keep out running them while maaging your stamina guage

  • Link7766

    I both love and hate the Silent Realms. They make my heart rate accelerate beyond what must be that of being chased by someone with a knife and the intent of murder.